“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love.” — John 15:9
Being committed to your sport can make you to do some crazy things. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about how much you love your sport and what that looks like in your life.
Fill in the blank, “I love my sport so much I____________.”
- What is the hardest thing you have given up so that you can be better at your sport?
- Was it worth it? Why or why not?
Here is an easy way to start sharing God’s love with others. (Pass out the “FOUR” bracelets now.) I want you all to look at your bracelets. There are four symbols on each one. Can you tell me what the symbols are? (Heart, division sign, cross, and question mark)
These four symbols are an easy way to tell the Gospel to your friends. The first symbol is a heart which stands for God’s love for us. The division sign stands for sin, and when sin entered the world, it separated us from God. The cross stands for Jesus’ sacrifice, which provided a way for us to be reunited with God. Then last is a question mark. This is where each person must decide if they believe the first three symbols are true. Each person gets a chance to have Jesus in their life, but they must choose to follow Him in their own heart.
(If they haven’t put their bracelets on, tell them to put them on.) Now you all have a way to share God’s love with all your friends!
It is normal in our world for athletes to feel pressure to be great, so much so that they give up a lot in their life to be the best. It is good to work hard, but you never want your goals to get in the way of being a good teammate, caring for others and playing fair.
At all costs we should try to be like those athletes who do the right thing by being selfless and being willing to give up something for someone else’s good.
A great example of this took place in 2014 when a college softball player named Kara hit a three-run homer against the other team. But when Kara got to first base, she hurt her knee and she fell to the ground in pain. What happened next was a perfect example of love and respect. The pitcher on the other team and one of Kara’s teammates rushed to her side. They helped her get up and carried her around the diamond, stopping so she could tap each base and home plate.
This kind of love is selfless and can be seen first in the Bible:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” — 1 John 4:7
- What does it mean to you to give up something for someone else?
The best love in the world came from Jesus when He died for our sins. It was His purpose to live a perfect life, without sin, and die for us. Even though Jesus never made mistakes and was perfect, His death was very painful and hard, and He ended up being nailed to a cross. And even through all of that, He showed love and forgave the men who nailed Him to that cross before He took his last breath.
God sent Jesus to earth knowing this would happen. It was all part of His plan to bring people back into a relationship with Him:
“But God proves his own love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:8
Because Jesus died for us, we can now have a relationship with God. But that’s not all, we can live in His love every day, and God wants to give us a lot of His love! In the Bible we know there was a man named Paul, who was a follow of Jesus, and he teaches us what that looks like in real life:
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” — 1 Corinthians 13:5–7
Thanks to what Jesus did on the cross, we can live our lives, and that means in our sports too, loving others with a greater love.
- What does Jesus’ love mean to you?
- How does having a greater love in Jesus affect how you love others?
God is able to promise you greater love because He is the One who first had greater love for you by sending His son to die for your sins. Here are three ways you can show greater love in your life:
- Love gives all. That means doing whatever it takes to help others and show them how much God loves them. — John 15:13
- Love forgives all. It’s one of the hardest parts of love, but God asks us to forgive others just as He has forgiven us.— Ephesians 4:32
- Love endures all. You will face hard things and even hatred in this world, but God’s greater love gives you the strength you need to get through it. —1 Corinthians 13:7
To learn more about the FOUR, go to thefour.fca.org
Close in prayer